Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sleep is for the Weak: Nautica Malibu Classic race report

I do have to confess to having had a 'phone it in' attitude towards the Classic. I'd signed up with a bunch of good friends, and hadn't really been thinking of it as anything other than an opportunity to hang out with some folks I don't get to see very often and have some fun.

So, I hadn't really done any training for it. I've been doing some biking (mainly on the commuter), some running and some swimming (twice a week at Masters swim), but not really with any race focus.

So the night before, a very good friend of mine invited me to a fancy fundraiser dinner party at Beso in Hollywood. Free food at an amazing restaurant? A night on the town with good friends? How was I supposed to say no?

I shot up to the site Saturday to pick up my race packet and say hello to a friend who was working the Cliff Bar booth, and ended up getting a cheap haircut. The Sassoon Academy were giving $15 haircuts to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which is a wonderful charity and since I needed a haircut anyways, why not?  

I was more afraid of getting busted cheating on my regular hairdresser than I was about getting a cheap haircut. Hair grows back but angry jilted hairdresser lasts forever.

I fought the traffic back home got dressed and then off I went, $15 haircut and all, and I have to say I had a fantastic time. The food was amazing, the company was wonderful and the lack of sleep was completely and utterly worth it.  I got home around 11 pm.

He's tall! And super duper nice.

Except that I kind of overslept and showed up at Zuma beach about five minutes before they closed the transition area, so I couldn't really get set up. I just dumped my crap on a rack and figured that I'd have a slow transition, which isn't really anything new, now is it?

During the pre-race meeting, there were five foot waves coming in and since I've had some issues getting through the surf, I got really mentally rattled. I couldn't shake it and ended up not doing the swim, which is a shame since it's the leg that I'm best at, but I stand by my choice since the lifeguards were dragging people out of the water, and I wasn't the only one who opted to walk the beach instead. 

Exiting the 'swim'.

Of course, T1 was something like 12 minutes as I dug through my bag looking for the stuff I would have had laid out had I gotten up sooner, but probably not that much shorter. Also, I was still in 'don't care' mode. I was chatting with friends, taking my time walking around, etc..

The $15 haircut rears its ugly ducktail
The bike seemed.. short. Super short. Like just getting warmed up short. I guess at 18 miles, it would qualify as a warmup giving the distances I've been biking lately.

18 mile Bike: 1:02

The bike course was nice, but it's always nice, it's PCH. There were a lot of folks out there who didn't have a good idea of bike etiquette - not moving over, zig zagging without warning, stopping suddenly, etc..

I suppose I'm just glad I didn't crash and that I had fun. I saw a lot of friends, said hello, and had a good ride.

T2: 5:24

Again, no surprise there. I took a moment and stretched out my hamstrings before I started the run, and then I saw a friend and we chatted briefly as I was putting on my shoes.

4 mile run: 39:59

Note flat ocean in background, mocking me.

I think, no, I know that this is the single best run I've ever had in a race. EVER. I averaged a 9:59 mile, and according to the tracking program on my phone (which I had in my back pocket) I did mile 1 in 10:16, mile 2 in 10:08, mile 3 in 9:54 and mile 4 in 9:15.

This was the first time I've ever been able to pick a runner and pass them. I kept up a steady pace (although it felt much slower - I'd have guessed I was running a low 11) and felt really good the entire run.

I even had enough gas in the tank to pick it up just as I got to the finish line.

Total time: 2:22:34

Still in the bottom half of my age group, but I'm so pleased with that run I don't care.

After the race, I hung out for a bit, jumped in the ocean (of course, the heavy surf died down right after the swim) to cool off,  got some food from one of the trucks (fish tacos and coffee. What could possibly go wrong?), and then headed home.

After spending an hour in traffic on PCH, I stopped by the gym with the idea of just getting a kickboard and loosening up my legs a bit - lucky for me, the pool heater was malfunctioning and the pool was 95 degrees. It was like a bath. Felt gross, but good for the muscles.

Between the lack of sleep the night before, the being tired and the hot pool, I think I went to bed about 8 pm, and surprisingly, wasn't sore at all the next day.

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